Glass Industry News

Crystal-clear benefits for consumers and the environment: Vetropack at Drinktec 2022

, Vetropack

At the first Drinktec in five years, Vetropack Group, one of Europe's leading manufacturers of glass packaging, will be showcasing how it has made use of the pandemic period to drive forward important new product developments. At the center of the presentation at Stand 209 in Hall C4 is a genuine global premiere: the Vetropack Improved Performance Glass solution is the world's first returnable bottle made of tempered lightweight glass and, with its high level of robustness and low weight, offers crystal-clear benefits for Vetropack customers and the environment. This also applies to the new Vetropack site in northern Italy, where excellent performance and sustainability will go hand in hand thanks to smart production.

After an involuntarily long Drinktec break, the thirst for news and personal exchange within the food and beverage industry is great: "Five years is a long time, in which we have been able to launch numerous important innovations despite the Covid pandemic," says Evan Williams, Chief Commercial Officer of Vetropack Group. "Now we are all the more eager to finally present them live to an international audience of industry professionals. Trade shows like Drinktec are an essential platform for us to meet our customers in person and to discuss with them about the latest news and trends."

Lighter, more robust, more sustainable: Vetropack Improved Performance Glass 

The claim of less weight, more durability and thus sustainability holds true for the Vetropack Improved Performance glass packaging presented at Drinktec: This highly robust and material-saving form of lightweight glass bottle was developed at Vetropack's Innovation Center in Pöchlarn, Austria. The new bottles are not only 30 percent lighter than conventional standard returnable bottles, they are also more durable and resistant to abrasion. Yet the development process still continues, as Daniel Egger, Head of Innovation, explains: "We are currently working on a marking system that we can use to apply a data matrix code to the bottles. This will enable us to make each individual bottle traceable. Our long-term goal is to have a more user-friendly return and recycling system with 100 percent bottle reuse."

Investments in state-of-the-art production facilities

In order to achieve this and other sustainability goals, Vetropack Group is investing continuously in the modernization of its production sites. In addition to the plant in Straža, Croatia, another production facility was recently qualified for the base glass manufacturing process in Kremsmünster, Austria. In Boffalora sopra Ticino near Milan, Vetropack is currently building a state-of-the-art plant that will go into operation next year and represent a further milestone on the way to the glass factory of the future. Smart technology will support around 325 employees in production and logistics: In a fully automated warehouse, autonomous vehicles will transport the manufactured products safely from production to the storage facility and all the way to the loading ramp. Production at the new plant will be significantly more flexible and allow the production of individual small batches which responds to customer requests for unique branding capabilities.

Full commitment to sustainability

Glass is one of the oldest packaging materials - and also one of the most sustainable and thus forward-looking. Vetropack Group is therefore engaged in an initiative of the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) to communicate and promote the environmental and health benefits of glass packaging. A dedicated hallmark will highlight these benefits in the future: "From an ecological perspective, glass is a fantastic material: it is made from natural raw materials, can be recycled endlessly, perfectly preserves food from harmful influences - and protects the health of the environment and ourselves," says Evan Williams. "A conscious decision in favor of glass is therefore also a decision for a sustainable future."

, © Vetropack

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